Things to know before getting a dog
If your heart leaps every time you see the distant wag of a tail, or you walk past the pet aisle of your local supermarket with a sense of longing, you're going to need a pet pooch. We spoke to our Islanders about what advice they wish they'd known before becoming dog mums and dads.
WHOMPY AND NELLIE
Can you tell us three things you wish you’d known before you got a dog?
- Nap time is your friend! I know it's cute to keep playing with your pup, but naptime is so important for their development and growth.
- Don't invest in expensive toys, get ready for them to be used and abused so quickly.
- Invest in some great enrichment activities - like a snuffle mat - especially for working dogs like ours!
What advice would you give to someone looking for a dog?
Make sure you buy a breed that fits into your space and that you have time and patience for, as it's like having a baby. You need to make sure you have the right lifestyle to look after them.
What checks should you do before getting a new dog?
Make sure the dog breed you're choosing is right for your lifestyle! Do as much research as possible into how much activity they need, if they can be left on their own, and just be really honest with yourself as to whether they will fit into your life.
What are your top three products to buy when bringing home a new puppy?
- Puppy pads: these are perfect for toilet training and cleaning up accidental messes.
- A puppy crate: puppies need a safe space that is only for them, and crates can very easily become that. They are also great for nighttime and if you have to go out as they prevent the new pup from wandering around the house and getting up to mischief.
- A soft fluffy blanket: puppies are used to being around their mum and litter. A fluffy blanket can be very comforting as they can snuggle in and hopefully relax a little bit.
BUTTONS AND PEPPER
Can you tell us how you went about any breed research?
In terms of breed research, I’d say that the internet is a fantastic resource for figuring out what breeds would suit you best. Deciding the kind of traits you’d like in a dog before getting one is so important and can help to prepare you as best as possible for a new arrival. Things to take into consideration are the size, level of energy and maintenance levels of any dog breed you're considering. Breed specific groups on social media are also a good place to enquire and gather research.
Can you tell us your top tips on training your dog?
When training Frank, we always like to encourage positive reinforcement every time he follows through on a certain command e.g. going to the back door if he needs to toilet, cute tricks like “paw”, “spin”, “lie down” and more importantly, off lead walking. There would always be a treat waiting for him once he’d completed the training successfully.
As habits formed, he then knew if he was to continue to do that there would always be his favourite treat and a big fuss at the end of it.
We’re currently working on "high five”, he’s nearly got it!